I looked out the window in the direction of my house. I think I'll walk home today. It's only 3rd period and there are still 4 classes to go, but I'm incredibly ready to go home. It looks so nice outside. Why do I have to be in school? "To graph a quadratic ..." Does it ever stop droning on? I know how to make a graph, I don't need to be told again, and anyway, the flag waving back and forth on its pole is so much more exciting than math. I'm really going to walk home today. It's only a couple blocks. I'm thinking about my walk home when it hits me. It's not a couple blocks anymore. Two and a half years ago it might have been only a couple blocks, but now I'm over a thousand miles from that dark brown brick house where I lived for ten years that's two blocks from school. Tears flow to my eyes, but I can't let myself cry because it's the middle of math class. I miss that place more than anything. I feel the tears behind my eyes, begging to be let out. All I want is for life to be simple like it was at that old house. Before Dad found a new job. Before I left everything I had known for all of my life, my friends, and everything else. That flat little state, never seemed like much when I was living there. But now I wanted to walk home, over its flat streets, laid out in neat little blocks. I pictured the concrete sidewalks that stretched out on either side of the road. "Open your books to page 79." Instantly I'm back from my little dream. My heart still felt like it was being ripped out, but I was at least semi-aware of what was happening in math. I know exactly what I'll do after school to make myself feel less homesick. I'll go to my room and listen to sad music for awhile. But wait, what I'm picturing in my head is not my room anymore. I feel the tears behind my eyes crying out to me harder than ever. I see myself standing in the doorway of an empty room, I see the huge moving truck parked outside on the street. I glance around one last time trying to see the room through my tears. Dad is standing beside me, asking if I was ready to go. Go where? I mean, I knew where it was on a map, but a tiny dot on a United States map isn't exactly a home. I see myself about to leave my whole life behind for the unknown. I feel that awful tearing at my heart as I gazed back at my house as we drove away for the very last time. And then the constant flow of tears that followed me as I drove past my friends' houses one final time. I see a long highway, leading into a tunnel. What would be on the other side of that tunnel. Then all of the sudden my thoughts are broken again. "Are you understanding this, Eliza-Beth?" "Yeah," I mumble back trying really hard to collect myself and not to cry right in the middle of math class for what everybody else would see as no apparent reason. Yeah, I'm understanding a lot more than that monotone voice talking about graphing could ever imagine right now. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.